Petsolino is reader-supported blog. If you buy something through our posts, we may get a small commission. Read more here.

Maybe you love shrimp and want to share it with your canine friend, but you’re not sure if it’s safe. Perhaps you’ve heard horror stories of food poisoning when you feed your dog new foods such as shellfish. Here is everything you need to know about feeding your dog shrimp and how it can impact your pet’s health. 

Is Shrimp Safe for Dogs?

Can dogs eat shrimp? The short answer is yes. You can serve shrimp to your dogs as a treat because shrimp is safe for dogs. Here are a few reasons why shrimps are good for dogs.

Health Benefits of Shrimp for Dogs

Our experts say that shrimps are not only tasty but also offer health benefits when incorporated into your dog’s diet. Shrimp contains useful nutrients for your dogs, such as vitamins B12, B3 (niacin) and D3, phosphorus, taurine [1], and a high level of antioxidants. Vitamin B12 aids your dog’s body metabolism and gastrointestinal health.

Vitamin B3 (niacin) is necessary for improved fat production and energy production, proper enzyme function, blood circulation, chemical signals, and so on. Vitamin D3 is important for immunity and cancer prevention. Taurine helps in decreasing your dog’s risk of blindness and dilated cardiomyopathy, especially as it ages.

close up picture of a brown dog

Phosphorus is very important for healthy bones, and antioxidants improve brain health by reducing brain aging and fighting off free radicals. Our team of experts found that shrimps are rich in protein and are a good source of Glucosamine and Omega-3, which can promote joint health. Shrimps are also low in carbohydrates, and calories, which makes shrimp good for your dog. 

However, shrimps are high in cholesterol, and giving your canine friend too many shrimps can contribute to unhealthy levels of cholesterol. This can cause intestinal blockage, a GI upset or an allergic reaction, or lead to serious health issues when feeding shrimp to your dog.

Recommended Proportions

How much shrimp can dogs eat?

Our team recommends that one or two shrimps are usually enough for most dogs, and it is always a good idea to give a part of a shrimp to small dogs as a precaution. You would need to consult your vet before adding shrimp or other shellfish to your dog’s diet regularly. Stop giving your shrimp to your dog if your dog shows symptoms of intestinal illness or discomfort.

How to Prepare and Feed Shrimp to Your Dog

You should only prepare the fleshy muscular parts for your dog. Our experts say you should carefully remove the shrimp shells, head, and shrimp tails as these parts are sharp and may pierce the dog’s mouth, choke the dog, or irritate its digestive tract. 

Shrimp shells, heads, and tails are made of chitin, which is difficult to digest. The sharp and brittle texture of these body parts also makes it easy for them to get stuck inside the digestive tract of your dogs or perforate the intestinal wall.

fresh shrimps

The shrimp you intend to give your dogs should be thoroughly cooked, shelled, and deveined. Raw shellfish can cause your dog to fall sick. Don’t forget to give only a small portion.

Health Hazards

Shrimps are high in fat and can cause an allergic reaction. Your pup is also at the risk of intestinal blockage or choking hazard if the shrimp is not properly shelled and at the risk of bacteria, such as Salmonella and Listeria if the raw shrimp is not properly cooked.

Other Alternatives

If your canine pets aren’t allergic but love seafood, there are other healthier and protein-rich alternatives to shrimp. Here are some other seafood that your dog might enjoy:

sliced salmon
  • Sardines: They are an excellent source of protein and Omega-3 for your dog
  • Salmon: Serve salmon boneless and perfectly cooked
  • Green Lipped Mussels: Contain glycosaminoglycans and essential fatty acids

However, the risk of serving other seafood to your dog is a choking hazard from fish bones. Make sure you debone the food thoroughly. 

FAQ

What happens when you give a dog shrimp?

Nothing bad happens when you give a dog shrimp. It is safe to give a dog shrimp. Shrimps are tasty and full of meaty protein and nutrients. However, avoid giving dogs shrimp in large amounts as it can be harmful. Make sure to remove shells completely.

Is it OK for dogs to eat cooked shrimp?

Yes, it is OK for dogs to eat cooked shrimp. Shrimp that is properly cooked, shelled and deveined are good for dogs. Raw shrimp may contain harmful bacteria and pathogens that can be destroyed by cooking shrimp. If dogs eat raw shrimp, they may be infected by pathogens. 

Fried or breaded shrimp would contain unnecessary fats and oils that may be harmful. Hence, don’t include fried shrimp in your dog’s food.

Conclusion

Can dogs eat shrimp? Yes, dogs can eat shrimp. The next time you cook some shrimp, you can serve shrimp to your dog. However, while shrimps are a healthy addition to dog food, they should not be a regular food or treat but should only be fed to your canine friend in small quantities as consuming shrimp in large amounts can be harmful.